injecting advertising into news feeds

The future of the Internet may well be the behavioral targeting that Facebook and other social networking sources can offer advertisers. Users objected loudly in 2007 when Facebook began injecting advertising into news feeds though. Users were concerned about privacy. Accused of betraying users’ privacy expectations through data mining for commercial purposes, Facebook backed off. Then in 2009 Facebook quietly modified its terms of service, to which users must agree or leave, so anything posted on the site gives ownership of the material to Facebook in perpetuity. To a new batch of criticism, the company denied an intention to provide information to third parties. However, similar language remains in the privacy policy today.

Even so, Facebook is explicit that it doesn’t share information on users with advertisers without users’ permission, but the company does use its aggregated information about users to deliver paid advertising.

Writing Prompt Applying Your Media Literacy—Online Dominance

What is the advantage of social-networking sites to target customers for advertisers?

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Summary: Cybermedia

4.1 Changing Media Landscape Print media go back 550-plus years, broadcast media almost 100 years. Those technologies are being subsumed by Internet-based delivery platforms. As a result, relationships between media consumers and mass media are in transition. In this Digital Age, some changes are obvious, like unprecedented arrays of media choices. Other changes are less visible, like disruptions in media business models.

4.2 New Audience Engagement Cybermedia have compounded opportunities for creators of mass media content to reach mass audiences. A result is unprecedented choices for media consumers. A downside is all the clutter. For mass consumers, the new challenge is wading through so much clutter.

4.3 Jobs’ Historical Model Trying to make sense of the changing media landscape, Apple genius Steve Jobs saw a revolution in three stages: The Computer Revolution, 1980–1994, marked by quantum leaps in productivity; the Internet Revolution, 1994–2000, marked by interconnectivity; and the Digital Lifestyle, now underway, with personal computers as the hub.

4.4 User-Generated Content Media companies once dominated what people read, saw, and heard. Blogging changed that. With software to create blogs, millions of people who never considered themselves mass communicators suddenly could create a media presence for whatever they wanted and go after an audience. Social media like Facebook further democratized mass communication. For better and worse, all this user-generated content splintered media audiences.

4.5 Online Commerce The founders of the Internet had a disdain for commercialization. They didn’t want commerce to taint their wonderful new medium for communication. Another American value, capitalism, emerged as dominant, however. Today the Internet is a primary vehicle for commerce with online catalogs and ordering, auctions, product downloads. Rare is a company without an online presence to, at minimum, promote itself.

4.6 Online Dominance Innovators who created cybermedia with tools like browsers and search engines had excitement that flowed from curiosity. To finance their endeavors, they turned to investors who saw profit potential. Legal battles followed over patents and control. Stakes were high. Those who ended up dominating the new cyberspace stood to make fortunes, mostly from advertising.

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